Data-mining with SQL Injection and Inference
When drilling for data via SQL injection there are three classes of attack – inband, out-of-band and the relatively unknown inference attack. Inband attacks extract data over the same channel between the client and the web server, for example, results are embedded in a web page via a union select. Out-of-band attacks employ a different communications channel to drill for data by using database mail or HTTP functions for example. Inference attacks stand alone in the fact that no actual data is transferred – rather, a difference in the way an application behaves can allow an attacker to infer the value of the data. SQL Inference is the subject of this paper; this paper is the paper I promised I’d write after talking about this at the Blackhat Security Briefings in Europe of in the March of 2005. Better late than never!
What is SQL Injection?
A SQL Injection vulnerability is a type of security hole that is found in a multi-tiered application; it is
where an attacker can trick a database server into running an arbitrary, unauthorized, unintended SQL query by piggybacking extra SQL elements on top of an existing, predefined query that was intended to be executed by the application. The application, which is generally, but not necessarily, a web application, accepts user input and embeds this input inside an SQL query. This query is sent to the application’s database server where it is executed. By providing certain malformed input, an attacker can manipulate the SQL query in such a way that its execution will have unintended consequences.
Author: David Litchfield